Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good Friday

     As I logged into my blogspot, it jumped out at me that my last blog was 8 months ago. Not that I have just have a whole ton of readers and followers... let's face it, it's just my family and closest friends, but I haven't done a great job updating as to what is going on in our world. To be honest, school has consumed me and I will leave it at that. I am very much looking forward to summer and my upcoming FINAL semesters! Anywho, I digress. Truth is, I am writing because tomorrow is a special day for a couple of reasons. It is Good Friday and it is 10 years since Brady went home.
      I smiled to myself when I realized that those two fell together. Many of you have probably heard me talk about Brady or maybe read when I have wrote about him before. I refuse to let any day, especially April 3rd, go by without letting people know how my life is forever changed by this young man and what he stood for. I feel that it is imperative, as I know his sweet family feels the very same, to keep his amazing legacy and message alive. While I know dates cycle in and out, I believe that it is special that 10 years to the day we lost Brady, we lost the One he loved so dearly and the promise that the somber day of Good Friday holds. Let me explain.
      Brady sought after Christ with his whole heart and he longed for everyone to know Him on the most deep, intimate and beautiful of levels. I sat tonight holding the block that he gave our youth group as a reminder on the night he preached about being a building block for Christ in not only our little town of Cabot, Arkansas but the world. I still remember that night and how deeply it encouraged me and challenged me. That block sits on my desk looking at me... all the way in Colorado Springs and I still feel that fire I saw in him. For an 18 year old, he was beyond his years and I am so incredibly blessed that I knew him and I carry his legacy inside of me. I also have a beautiful frame, given to me by his precious parents for my college graduation with his quote... Love God. Love people. That frame too, sits on my desk, next to Brady's block. He lived to serve others regardless of where he was: his ROTC unit, his future marines, his family, his friends and his community. I remember this was so evident as we celebrated his young short life at his viewing and funeral. I am still taken back by those days as I looked around and saw a glimpse into the lives he touched... and just a portion sitting in that sanctuary. At his services,  the verses Revelation 3:15-16,19-20 will be forever highlighted in my old bible on those tear stained pages. "I know all the things you do. You are like lukewarm water. You are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one of the other!... Be diligent and turn from your indifference. "Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we share a meal as friends." (TNLT) I wrote out to the side, "Be on fire," and "Love,"  as I know Brady would expect no less of me. While I know I have failed, that desire to be on fire and to "Love God. Love people." have shaped my being and my life and I am forever grateful. That is why I think it is no mistake that Brady's day falls on Good Friday. On the day that God gave his only Son to die on the cross for the atonement from our sins... the greatest love for people (the very ones persecuting Him) was demonstrated... this example is the one that flowed so deeply through Brady's veins. Love. The crux of our faith, as Christians is based upon this day but death and hurt did not have the last say because Sunday came and "Death was swallowed up in victory." (1 Cor 15:49) While, I miss Brady, as I know that all of those who love him do as well, his death on April 3rd did not overcome or overshadow the victories he had and the seeds he had planted that I know are still being sewn. I will always hurt a bit on April 3rd for the amazing person this world lost, so quick and too soon but I will celebrate for the life that he lived and continues to live in Heaven and here on Earth through others, including myself. I choose to recognize the painful significance and depth of Good Friday and celebrate that because of Jesus' selfless sacrifice on the cross, death does not win in this life, for me... for anyone. I am promised Heaven. I am promised a reunion with all of those who have gone before me... my Grandma, Betty, my Grandpa, Earl, my Uncle, Jay, and my Brady. Thank you God, for giving me that promise.
        I encourage you, as you reflect on Good Friday and Easter weekend, that you remember the love and victory that encompasses this weekend that God bestowed upon us through his Son. Choose to be a "Brady" and "Love God. Love people." relentlessly. Be a building block in your town and be firmly rooted in Christ, so that you will be an example for His beauty. My challenge to myself and to you, as well, is to light your fire and pursue love for others amidst a world that is increasingly dimmer and dimmer and think of Brady. I know I will.